Agent Shepherd walked into the interrogation room and nodded genially to the attendant police officers. He hated police precincts…but here he was, in a small concrete cubicle that smelled of stale cigarette smoke and fear; fear swam darkly in the corners and chuckled in his ear…He grimaced and tightened his shields, shoring up the niches in his mind that allowed foreign emotions and thoughts in…and resolutely forced himself to see the room as nothing more than walls and a table; the people no more than bored officers…

Currently, there was no one other than the officers in the room, but that would soon change. He was here on the account of one Mark T. Jenson, a man who ran the east side protection racket…he had turned himself in, voluntarily, and asked to see him, personally. I never met this guy before…never been to NY…why the hell he ask for me? What a creepy start to my day…guess its par for the week though…Shepherd settled into the only chair with a sigh and patiently waited for the NYPD to escort Mr. Jenson in.

*   *   *   *   *

Shepherd looked at the hulking man sitting at the other end of the table…it had obviously been a day or two since his last shower, and the east side factory grime was very evident. "Good afternoon Mr. Jenson. I hear that you asked for me personally from the bureau. Why is that?"

"I didn't want nothing to do with you…FBI is worse than the pigs here…but SHE told me to deliver a message…"

"She? Who is she? And what is the message?"

"I don't know! She was just a broad walking down at the docks…you know me, I was thinking that maybe she's a hooker or something, but she ain't dressed like it, so I just walked up to ask her if she was lost…"

Jenson's thoughts crowded Shepherd's shields…filtered babbled started to leak through…pretty little thing…walking down here like this, she either a hooker or a junkie…either way she got cash…

"Anyway, I get up to her and she ignores me…she seemed to be talking to herself…I touched her shoulder…"

A sick mental image of Jensen grabbing a young woman roughly by the shoulders and spinning her around…

"And after that I don't remember nothing except I was to come here…and ask for you. I'm to shake your hand. Please Mr. Shepherd, let me shake your hand…I just want to get this voice out of my head…"

"It seems to me that you're insane Mr. Jensen…thank you for wasting my time" He pushed the small intercom button "We're finished" An officer stepped in to escort the prisoner…and Mr. Jenson lunged across the table catching Shepherd's shirt touching one hand to his face, briefly…but it was enough….

*   *   *   *   *

He was lost…in the dark swirling mists that he usually associated with someone else's memories. Then there was a minute lightening…as if false dawn was approaching…and he was there. He was Mr. Jenson, standing at a street corner, watching a woman in the fog. He moved forward, and was standing behind the woman, close enough to catch a running monologue…

"…know you don't like it but we're not enough on our own, we need help, and supplies…don't you think I know that? Geez if it was up to you, I'd be in a safe little house with flowers and pink stuff everywhere…I'm just as well trained as you…but regardless we need help…"

He grabbed her by the shoulder, spun her round and flashed a knife. Then he took a moment to study the lady. She was short; maybe 5'3'' white hair buzzed near her skull…there was a silver wire making a small diamond in the middle of her forehead. She looked about fourteen, maybe fifteen years old…and she smiled at him. Even more disturbing though were her eyes…solid black, and fixed on him…Then Jenson crumpled to the ground, yet, oddly enough, Shepherd was still standing, looking at the girl.

"You, Mr. Shepherd, we ask for help. We are glad our message got to you…"

"Who are you?"

"We …" A shimmering mist coalesced from the girl's body…it formed into a man, slightly taller, with black hair and white eyes "…were called Delta and Theta…before our escape."

Even here, in his own mind, he felt his eyebrows rise in disbelief "Escaped?"

The two looked at him and spoke in tandem "Yes, which is why we need your help. We could not enclose more information in this messenger…his mind was…limited. If you wish to know more, simply nod your head as you come out of the building and we will find you." The image faded away.

*   *   *   *   *

Shepherd found himself staring at Jensen, as the cops dragged him off. That was…interesting…I wonder…He brushed himself off and exited the building, giving a polite nod to a woman that walked by.

*   *   *   *   *

They sat on a girder, several stories above the police station, watching. Their quarry, Agent Shepherd, nodded, and they smiled.

"I told you he would help…"

"His help is not assured yet, just his interest…"


They stood and felt the breeze in their hair, then left to plan their approach to the FBI agent known as Shepherd.

*   *   *   *   *

This is the end of chapter one. Let me know what you think!